The United States has been spending thousands of American lives, tens of thousands of foreign lives and billions of dollars conducting U.S. foreign policy in recent years but we are having trouble understanding why so. What’s the point? We’ve paid a high price; what have we bought with all the blood and treasure?
President Obama is publicly concerned about all the other folk in the world, folk he says America has exploited. He seems to believe that U.S. wealth is somehow ill-gotten gains that we now should repay. At the same time, he doesn’t seem to think that invading other countries that have not attacked the U.S, killing thousands of their inhabitants and installing replacements for their original governments is also exploitation. We suppose that if he does it, it must be the right thing to do.
The U.S. has only one pervasive existential problem; that is financial. No one threatens the United States seriously excepting its own government, bleeding money it borrows at a rate that will cripple present and future American taxpayers if indeed, they can ever repay it. (It’s presently about $150,000 per taxpayer.) And the same government that is bleeding the American economy of money is impeding its production of wealth by costly regulation and by interfering with the availability of energy. As if that weren’t enough, the government has now burdened the taxpayers with the costs of some 20 to 40 million previously uninsured healthcare beneficiaries. That, given American unemployment and underemployment, is like throwing an anchor to a drowning seafarer.
Putting this together underlines the question of the goal of American foreign policy. It is one of the things draining America, so what is the justification for these sacrifices? We may be naive, but we expect American presidents to serve American interests, do we not? Yet we are reproached because Russia is absorbing Ukraine or because Syria is having a messy revolution. Why are these truly foreign affairs an American responsibility? What will we gain by shoving those people around? What have we gained by invading Viet Nam, Iraq and Afghanistan? Mostly from what we see, a pile of dead Americans and tons of big bills to pay. Back a while, we helped dump the Shah of Iran, an American ally. That doesn’t look so smart now, right? So what the hell are we doing?
Just imagine for a moment that all those dead young Americans had remained at home to contribute to the economy and raise children. Imagine that all those billions of dollars blown up on battlefields and intercepted by corrupt foreign officials had remained home to be invested in America. Do you suppose that might have made a difference in our lives today? You decide …